Antique Radio Repair
From dust collector to reliable every day player!
CAUTION: If your tube radio still has original capacitors, DO NOT plug it in to find out if it works. It can be a potential shock and fire hazard.
The most effective way to repair your radio and return it back to safe, reliable operating condition is with complete capacitor replacement. Many common problems found in these radios can be traced to failed or failing capacitors. To attempt to repair one of these radios by isolating a single or few bad capacitors would take longer than to just replace them all. Since these are age related failures, if they are not all replaced then it would not be long before you'd have to repair the radio again. To attempt to repair your radio by isolating a bad part only makes sense if it has already been properly recapped.
A typical repair for an all (or mostly) original radio will include:
- Replacement of all original paper and electrolytic capacitors
- For Philco radios that use them, bakelite condenser blocks are rebuilt
- Replacement of any out of tolerance resistors
- Replacement of the power cord
- Installation of an in-line fuse in the power line, if one is not already installed
- Light cleaning of the chassis
- Cleaning and lubrication of controls
The cost to repair your tube radio is based on the number of tubes, plus the cost of additionals as needed and return shipping. The base charge is calculated $18.00 x the number of tubes, and includes all basic repair parts such as capacitors, resistors and power cord. To provide you with a firm repair quote, I'd need to first inspect the chassis to see what I have to work with. No repairs are made without prior approval. There is no charge for the price quote. I'd only ask you pay the return shipping fee should you decide to not repair your radio.
Additional fees may apply for the following parts and services, as needed:
- Tubes (tube testers are not 100% accurate)
- Replacement of unsafe chassis and transformer wiring
- Controls (volume, tone, band and power switches)
- Transformers (power, IF, audio output)
- Speaker reconing
Transistor Radios Welcome!
I also repair most transistor radios from the 50's and 60's. Just like tube radios, they also have capacitors that degrade as they age and can fail. If needed, many transistors can still be cross-referenced to a modern generic replacment that will get your portable radio working again. For most radios, cost to repair your transistor radio is based on a flat fee plus parts and return shipping. But depending on the layout, additional labor charges may apply if access to the PC board is restricted by piggy back PC boards or tuning dial mechanics. An inspection would be needed before an accurate price can be quoted.
- Radios up to 7 transistors / AM only - $35.00 plus extras
- Radios 8 or more transistors / AM-FM - $45.00 plus extras
- All other multi-band radios - $60.00 plus extras
All repair work comes with a 6 month warranty covering labor and all parts that have been replaced, except for tubes, transistors and transformers.